MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow condemned NBCUniversal on Friday night over ongoing sexual harassment allegations detailed in Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill book against Harvey Weinstein and former NBC anchor Matt Lauer.
"I've been through a lot of ups and downs at this company since I've been here," she said on air. "It would be impossible for me to overstate the amount of consternation inside the building around this issue."
"But accusations that people in positions of authority in this building may have been complicit in some way of shielding those guys from accountability, those accusations are very, very hard to stomach."
In 2017, Farrow played a major part in publishing the widespread accusations against Weinstein. Of the publications that Farrow initially approached was NBC News which he alleges told the journalist to take the story elsewhere. That in-depth report went to The New Yorker, and its publishing helped to launch the #MeToo movement and won a Pulitzer prize. Now, in his new book, Farrow alleges that NBC was aware of Lauer's misconduct and that the network personally intervened to have the investigation into Weinstein shut down.
"The allegations about the behavior of Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer are gut-wrenching at baseline, no matter who you are or what your connection is to this story," Maddow said.
Maddow continued: "The amount of consternation this has caused among the rank and file people who work here would be almost impossible for me to overstate."
Maddow also broke the news that NBCUniversal will release those who feel they can't discuss sexual harassment at NBC News due to non-disclosure agreements.
\u201cNEWS: NBCUniversal offers to release "any former NBC News employee who believes that they cannot disclose their experience with sexual harassment" because of an NDA "from that perceived obligation."\u201d
"Any former NBC News employee who believes that they cannot disclose their experience with sexual harassment as a result of a confidentiality or non-disparagement provision in their separation agreement should contact NBCUniversal and we will release them from that perceived obligation," an NBC spokesperson is credited with saying in the statement.
\u201cRachel #Maddow's interview with Ronan Farrow tonight:\n\nPart 1: https://t.co/gKNt1VBaW5\u201d
Farrow detailed in his book that at least seven women had non-disclosure agreements at NBC who said they experienced sexual harassment and discrimination at the company including complaints about Lauer. In an interview with Farrow later in the show he said NBC executives "deserve praise" for releasing these women from non-disclosure agreements.
"The fact that they are ending that and releasing these women is significant," Farrow said. "It should be a model for other companies."
\u201cCredit where due: @maddow, independently confirming my reporting that Weinstein story was halted by NBC execs and calling her bosses to account on their own air\u2014not an easy thing, for her or her staff\u2014 did this.\u201d
When credited with the change in policy, Farrow took to Twitter to direct thanks to Maddow, writing: "Credit where due: @maddow, independently confirming my reporting that Weinstein story was halted by NBC execs and calling her bosses to account on their own air--not an easy thing, for her or her staff-- did this."